Sky Stream is a new service from Sky that allows you to watch TV without needing a satellite dish. You can access your favourite channels and streaming apps from a single box, similar to the services already available on Virgin Media’s “Stream” and BT’s 4K Pro Box. And with the addition of 4K Ultra HD resolution, you’ll be guaranteed fantastic picture quality to watch your favourite shows and movies.
What is Sky Stream?
Sky Stream is a small, standalone streaming box that you connect to your TV via an HDMI cable. It allows you to stream all of your favourite content from the internet directly to your TV, similar to other popular streaming devices like Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku.
It would help if you had a reliable broadband connection via WiFi or Ethernet to use Sky Stream. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll get access to Sky’s channels, various third-party channels, and free options from networks like Freeview without the need of an aerial. And unlike other subscription services like Netflix and Disney+, there are no contracts involved with Sky Stream so you can cancel at any time without penalty.
Apps such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are also available on Sky Stream so that you can watch all of your favourite shows and movies from one convenient location.
Sky does offer long-term contracts on their traditional products, such as Sky Q, but with Sky Stream, they offer both an 18-month contract and a rolling 31-day plan.
Sky Ultimate Package
This basic package offered by Sky Stream provides you with essential channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Max, Freeview, and the basic Netflix subscription. The 31-day plan for this package costs just £29/month, while the 18-month contract is slightly cheaper at only £26/month.
You can add additional Sky channels and third-party subscriptions like BT Sport or Paramount+ for an additional fee.
Here are the rates:
- Sky Cinema – Paramount+: £13/month (rolling contract) or £11/month (18-month contract)
- Sky Sports: £27/month (rolling contract) or £25/month (18-month contract)
- BT Sport: £30/month
- Sky Kids: £6/month (rolling contract) or £5/month (18-month contract)
Dolby Atmos and 4K Ad-On
Adding 4K and Dolby Atmos to your Sky Stream package costs an additional £6/month, regardless of whether you are on a rolling or 18-month contract.
Fast Forward Adverts Ad-On
If you want to fast-forward through adverts on your Sky Stream, you’ll need to pay an additional £5/month (free for the first 18 months). This is a great option to reduce commercials without using another device or service.
“Whole Home”: The Sky Stream Multiroom
There’s one more add-on you’ll need to consider if you want to watch in other rooms: the Sky Stream Multiroom also called Whole Home.
The Whole Home add-on allows you to connect multiple Sky Stream devices in different rooms of your home, allowing everyone in the household to watch their shows or favourite channels on the big screen. The Whole Home package costs an additional £12/month for one puck and an additional £39.95 for each subsequent puck installation.
You can get up to six pucks installed in different house rooms. They all work independently, but you’ll be able to sync your watch history and playlists across all of the devices, so if you want to pick up a show in your bedroom where you left off in the kitchen, you can easily do so.
Broadband Speed Requirements for Sky Stream
The recommended minimum broadband speed for Sky Stream is 10 Mbps. However, if you plan to stream 4K content or use other devices in your home simultaneously, it’s recommended that you go with a broadband connection of at least 36 Mbps.
You don’t need to subscribe to Sky’s Broadband service to use Sky Stream. Unlike other streaming services like Virgin Media’s Stream and BT TV’s 4K Pro Box, Sky Stream works with any broadband provider, so you don’t have to switch providers or rely on one specific ISP to use this service.
Which Freeview Channels Are Available?
The Freeview channel list is very similar to the Sky Glass lineup, with some major exceptions:
– Freeview’s NOW music channels, including Kiss Fresh and Kiss Dance, are missing
– The Great! movie channels (formerly known as Sony Movies) – LoveNature4K, True Christmas, Sony Crime Channel, and Sony Movie Channel – are also missing from the list.
– Both Freesports and CNN are also missing from the lineup.
There are over 140 channels in total. However, some may require a subscription fee to view. The complete list can be viewed on Sky’s website.
Does It Record Programs?
Sky Stream’s recording feature works differently than other platforms, as it doesn’t use local storage space. Instead, the service uses cloud recording to stream recorded content and save your watch history “in the cloud.” Very similar to what happens in Sky Glass and what we have covered here.
Cloud recordings allow you to record up to 1,000 hours of your favourite shows and movies and access them on demand at any time.
It allows you to mark live or future programs in the TV guide for recording. This creates a thumbnail shortcut that takes you directly to the streaming version of that content, so you can watch it on demand without waiting for it to download first. That shortcut might be to the 3rd party app, like BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub.
If you are a Sky Q customer, this might be confusing – As you might be used to the full ‘recording’ environment that Sky Q offers. So yes, this is how most streaming devices work – you can only watch what’s available for streaming on any dedicated app. But this isn’t how Sky Q or Freeview recorders work, so it will confuse many customers who are used to having actual recording capabilities.
Which Apps Are Available?
Most major apps and services are available on Sky Stream, with some exceptions.
As of this writing, the streaming apps available on Sky Stream are:
– BBC iPlayer
– ITV Hub (soon to become ITVX)
– Prime Video
– Apple TV+
– YouTube Kids
– BBC Sounds
– Radio Player
– Global Player
– Golf Pass
While some of the major streaming services still need to be added to Sky Stream’s app lineup, such as My5, Pluto TV, Twitch, The Roku Channel, Plex. But the list of available apps is still pretty impressive and will provide plenty of content for most users.
BT Sport, as previously mentioned, is available as an extra subscription service through Sky Stream, so it doesn’t appear as a “regular” app.
Who is it for?
Streaming platforms like Sky Stream are ideal for customers who want more flexibility and don’t mind losing out on some perks, so if that sounds like you, going with this option is worth considering.